One of the steps a woman must consider taking following treatment for breast cancer and a mastectomy is what type of breast reconstruction she wants to undergo, if she chooses to. In his plastic surgery practice, Dr. Genter performs TRAM flap breast reconstruction in Philadelphia, a procedure that uses tissue from the patient’s own body to recreate the breast mound.
TRAM flap breast reconstruction restores the size, shape and appearance of the breasts after a mastectomy. To reduce emotional trauma, it is often recommended that breast reconstruction be performed immediately following a mastectomy. A plastic surgeon may work with your oncologist to coordinate the breast reconstruction, whether surgery involves the TRAM flap procedure or a different method. (TRAM: transverse rectus abdominis muscle)
Tram Flap Breast Reconstruction: What’s involved?
Unlike breast reconstruction procedures that use synthetic implants, tram flap breast reconstruction surgery will utilize the patient’s own tissue to recreate the breasts. TRAM flap breast reconstruction uses tissue of the lower abdomen, between the waist and pubic bone as a donor site. Sometimes, before surgery, it may be necessary for Dr. Genter to perform tissue expansion. This process takes place over several weeks and gently stretches the skin where the breast will be recreated. It will allow for the tissue to be placed more easily and for a natural appearance to be achieved.
In this procedure, Dr. Genter will make careful incisions in your lower abdomen, taking care to hide them in the natural folds of your skin and beneath the bikini line, as possible. The tissue will then be moved from your midsection to your chest to create the breast mound. When that step has been completed, Dr. Genter will close the incisions with sutures and apply a surgical dressing.
Because it removes a similar amount of tissue, the procedure is often compared to abdominoplasty, i.e. the tummy tuck. One abdominal muscle may be removed to form the base of the breast mound.
How is the nipple reconstructed?
When necessary, nipple reconstruction will be performed three or four months after TRAM flap breast reconstruction. Donor tissue and special techniques in micropigmentation are used to recreate the nipples.
To learn more about TRAM flap breast reconstruction in Philadelphia, contact Dr. Genter’s plastic surgery office in Philadelphia County.